The Latest: Governor defends trip to game on vendor's plane
Sep. 13, 2018
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Kim Reynolds' trip to the Liberty Bowl last December (all times local):
Gov. Kim Reynolds is defending her decision to travel to Iowa State's bowl game for free on a plane owned by a company that is a longtime and controversial state vendor.
Reynolds told reporters Thursday that she saw nothing wrong with her flight on the plane owned by Sedgwick, which administers claims for workers' compensation benefits filed by injured state employees.
She noted that her office had received written approval from the ethics board director to take a donor-funded flight to the bowl game in order to campaign.
Reynolds says that met with donors on the trip and that the game was an opportunity to talk to Iowans and "share the excitement of Iowa State making a bowl game."
The ethics board director wasn't aware that a state vendor owned the plane. Sedgwick CEO Dave North says he reimbursed his company for the costs of Reynold's flight.
Iowa State University says Gov. Kim Reynolds paid for her family's tickets to the Liberty Bowl nearly one month after the game.
School spokesman John McCarroll said Thursday that Reynolds paid $380 to cover the cost of four tickets with a personal check dated January 27, 2018, four weeks after the Cyclones defeated Memphis 21-20.
McCaroll said it was "normal procedure" to provide the tickets upfront and send the governor an invoice to be paid later.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Reynolds and three relatives accepted a free flight to the game on an airplane owned by Sedgwick, which administers state workers' compensation claims.
Iowa's gift law bars public officials from accepting anything worth $3 from contractors and lobbyists.
But Reynolds received approval from an ethics regulator to accept the flight as a campaign contribution from Sedgwick's CEO Dave North, one of her top donors. North says he reimbursed Sedgwick for the cost.
Reynolds' campaign says she met with donors during the day trip.